Avitesh Shrivastava aka AVI is son of the late music composer and producer Aadesh Shrivastava, who has been charting his own path in the global music scene. The multi-talented 21-year-old singer, songwriter and composer launched his latest single ‘Main Hua Tera’ in the presence of megastar Amitabh Bachchan in Mumbai.
In an interaction with thestatesman.com, the singer talked about his musical background and his experience with Akon.
When did music happen to you and how?
My musical journey started at a very young age, when I was about 11 years old. I used to love being in the studio with my dad, learning about music production and trying my hand at composing and singing my own tracks. I remember performing for the first time in my life with Wyclef Jean at Hard Rock Cafe and realising how passionate I really was about music. After I performed with Akon in front of 30,000 people, I was even more convinced of my dream of becoming an artist. Right now, though, my focus is completely on my singing career.
You come from a musical background, so who is your inspiration?
As a child, I was always surrounded by music. My dad, mom, Anivesh, and I loved to spend our time either singing, or talking about music, or learning from each other. My biggest inspiration is my dad from the time when I started training at the age of 13, and it was his honest feedback and guidance that helped me to nurture this talent. I miss his teaching methods whenever I sit before my keyboard. I will always remember how he gave my music direction and perspective. Nobody will be able to offer me the same again.
Tell us about debut single?
My first project is my latest debut single called ‘Main Hua Tera’ which is an International Pop song presented by Ideal Entertainment & SM Entertainment Inc (Canada). The track is co-written by Kunaal Vermaa and the music producers are Giorgio Tuinfort & Marcus Van Wattum. The video has been directed by Remo D’Souza. This is a huge project and I believe it will further cement my position as an established international artist.
Why did you decide to take the road less travelled and debut abroad and not India? What all challenges did you face during that journey?
I wanted to bring about positive changes by having crossovers of International artistes in India. I want to take my dad’s legacy forward and since my interest is in western music, it will help me introduce different genres of music in India.
There were immense challenges that I had to face during this journey. In India, people knew my dad who had laid the path for me to work on my music with fewer struggles. When I went to USA after dad’s sudden demise, I had to figure out everything on my own. I was alone there, struggling, trying to find a way to meet producers and artists. I recollect sleeping for days on the floor at a music studio just to work with such talented people and have my music heard. That journey has been mine and mine alone and I will never forget my roots because over there, people work with you on the basis of your talent and not who you are in your country.
How was the experience of collaborating with international artistes?
Collaborations are important in their own way. They provide a platform to unite different artists, create unique compositions, and recognise talent from all over the globe. I wish to bring more foreign artists to the country to explore musical collaborations and to give them a feel of Indian artists/music. My own journey has been greatly influenced by musical collaborations. Several established international artists like French Montana, T Pain, Akon, and Sean Kingston saw the potential in me and chose to collaborate with me on their tracks. They believed that I could represent India internationally and become the youngest crossover artist from the country.
How was it working with Vishal Bhardwaj in Rangoon and Shoojit Sircar in Piku?
Working with Vishal sir has been an amazing experience and I have learnt so much which could not have been possible with his guidance. While working with Vishal sir on Rangoon, I was also recording Amit Uncle’s title track for ‘Aaj Ki Raat Hai Zingadi‘. My schedule had taken a toll as my call time was 6am for the shoot and after getting free by 11pm, I was in the studio recording with Amit Uncle upto 4am. It was tiresome but a thrilling experience teaching me time management and immense hardwork and focus.
Piku came to me through Amitabh Uncle who kept me in his shadow to learn about acting. Under his guidance, I learnt about all aspects of go into making of a film. Shoojit sir has been kind enough to give me this opportunity and I hope to work with him someday in the future under his brilliant direction.
What are the differences that you have noticed in the music industry in India and abroad?
In India, people who belong to a celebrity family, surely have an easy access to building contacts. Despite getting the push, it is your own talent that will take you places and leave you behind. Whereas, the culture abroad with regards to music is slightly different. The music production companies and artists will only recognise and accept you solely based on your talent. If you’re talented, you have a chance, if you aren’t, there’s no second chance permitted.
With my father’s blessings and God’s grace, people believed in my music and accepted it. SM Entertainment signed me and things went ahead from there. My only dream is to represent India in America and reduce any kinds of differences that will come in between this journey.
Share your experience working with Akon.
Working with Akon was a great experience. Being an international artiste, Akon saw the potential in me and chose to collaborate with me on his tracks. He believed that I could represent India internationally and become the youngest crossover artist from the country.
Is there any singer that you want to collaborate with?
In India, I would like to collaborate with Priyanka Chopra as they have crossed over with International artists like Wyclef Jean and Pitbull respectively. Internationally, it would be great to collaborate with Drake, Dual Lipa and Camila Cabello because they have tremendous talent and I love their music.
Tell us about your upcoming projects.
My next project is something I’m very excited about. It’s going to be an international project. My focus right now is on #MHT, but I have several future projects are lined up for release soon.
Here is the latest single ‘Main Hua Tera’.